Monday, September 23, 2019

Wild Horse

We encountered some wild (feral) horses in Theodore Roosevelt NP near Medora, North Dakota. I did a post on wild horses nine years ago which gave some background on them. 

According to literature handed out by the NP Service, they initially tried to remove all of the wild horses from the park. Then, in 1970, they changed policy, recognizing that the horse was part of the historical setting. Now they allow some horses in the park, but remove some on a regular basis using tranquilizer darts and then they are sold in online auctions. 
The same literature quotes Theodore Roosevelt in the 1880s, who ranched in the area which is now the park: "In a great many - indeed, in most - localities there are wild horses to be found, which, although invariably of domestic descent, being either themselves runaways from some ranch or Indian outfit, or else claiming such for their sires and dams, yet are quite as wild as the antelope on whose domain they have intruded." 
We saw horses several times. The first was as a backdrop to a very large prairie dog town. Then later, at a great distance, one ridge over from a herd of bison. The next morning when I went before sunrise, I saw them again near the same prairie dog town, then later, just off the road, grazing in the grass.  

1 comment:

  1. They didn't look much different than a regular ol' horse. The lack of fencing was the only thing that identified them as wild. It was fun to see them.